New sculptural works fired in a wood-burning outdoor kiln are the highlight of Rough Music (27 August – 8 November 2015) at Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, Chichester, England.
The exhibition title is a nod to an English folk practice in the 18th and 19th centuries. Individuals seen to have offended the community through some misdemeanour or other got subjected to public ridicule in rowdy and cacophonous performances outside their homes. Effigies added further insult to verbal injury, as did rhyme and song, theatre and the banging of pots and pans. ‘Rough music’ in that sense was a vernacular form of vigilante satire, not unfamiliar in other parts of the world, as a Cass introductory text points out.
Framed in the context of pottery, ceramics and sculpture, Rough Music suggests exploration of “the expressive, aesthetic or conceptual potential available within failure, accident and the arbitrary.”
The participating artists have been asked to respond to the theme by producing new ceramic works that bear the marks of domesticity—and absurdity.
Taking part are Aaron Angell, Mark Essen, Alex Hoda and Robert Rush, Paulina Michnowska, Laure Prouvost, Giles Round, Jackson Sprague, Adam Sutherland , Bedwyr Williams and Jesse Wine.
Alongside the new works for Rough Music, the artists will fire ‘wasters’ in the kiln at Cass Sculpture Foundation. Wasters are items that fail in the firing and therefore regarded as waste items. However, in the common parlance of wood firing, the term has now come to refer to any piece of ceramic whose primary function is utilitarian, to keep the chamber temperature even. These wasters often have a secondary function as an amusement to their maker.
The wasters then will be shown in an exhibition at London’s Edel Assanti gallery (8 September to 3 October 2015).
Cass invited artists Alex Hoda and Robert Rush to guest curate an exhibition of contemporaries working in ceramics. The new works, each commissioned and expected to explore the theme of Rough Music, will be fired on site, and exhibited in the organisation’s Main Gallery.
The Cass Sculpture Foundation is a charitable commissioning and education body established in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass. It is home to an ever-changing display of 55 monumental sculptures, all for sale. The proceeds go directly to artists. Among the 400 works commissioned by the Foundation in its 23-year history are pieces by Anthony Caro, Marc Quinn and Rachel Whiteread.
Rough Music, Cass Sculpture Foundation, New Barn Hill, Goodwood, Chichester. T 01243 538449 www.sculpture.org.uk